References in HTML 3.0

Tom Metcalf (metcalf@akala.ifa.hawaii.edu)
Fri, 23 Feb 96 13:48:30 HST


Date: Fri, 23 Feb 96 13:48:30 HST
From: metcalf@akala.ifa.hawaii.edu (Tom Metcalf)
Message-Id: <9602232348.AA25563@akala.IfA.Hawaii.EDU>
To: www-html@w3.org
Subject: References in HTML 3.0


I have been looking at the proposed HTML 3.0 description (though I
could not find a very recent version).  It all looks very exciting,
but, as far as I can tell, there is no mechanism in HTML3.0 to store a
bit of HTML in some memory location for reuse.  For example, it would be very
convenient to have figure numbers or equation numbers stored for later
recall.

Is there anything like the following to rectify this situation?  This
seems so obvious, I suppose this must have been discussed before, but
I could not find any references to it.

Thanks!

Tom Metcalf
metcalf@akala.ifa.hawaii.edu

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

<SET ID=xxx> ... </SET>

The text (after expanding enclosed HTML elements) between <SET> and
</SET> is stored under the name "xxx" for later retrieval with the
<PUT ID=xxx>.

Attributes
----------

ID        Set the name of the storage location.

NOSHOW    Store the text invisibly: do not include it in the document
          at the location of the <SET> element.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------

<PUT ID=xxx>  

Retrieve the text in the storage location xxx.

Attributes
----------

ID        Set the name of the storage location to be retrieved.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

<COUNTER ID=xxx>   

Implements a simple counter.  The counter is incremented at each
instance of the <COUNTER ID=xxx> element.  Presumably the style sheet
will determine the exact format of the counter (i.e., 1 or A or I or
whatever).

ID        Set the name of the counter to be retrieved.

SEQNUM    Used in conjunction with COUNTER.  Sets the counter to 
          a particular value.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------

A simple equation counter and reference would be something like

<MATH ALIGN=center>{1 <OVER> 2}</MATH><TAB ALIGN=right><SET ID=EqOneHalf><COUNTER ID=Eq></SET>

which would display something like (assuming equation number 1)

                1
               ---                           1
                2

Then you could refer to this equation number later as something like
"see equation <PUT ID=EqOneHalf>".

To avoid run-away references, the <SET> element could not include a
<PUT> referring to itself.